One True Thing

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Overview

Carl Franklin directed this family drama adapted from the 1995 novel by former New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen about a young woman who goes back home to take care of her dying mother. In 1987-88, independent Ellen Gulden Renee Zellweger, a Harvard grad, is working on a New York Magazine investigative article when she hears from her father, George William Hurt, a literary critic and university professor. He tells Ellen she's needed at home to care for her mother, Kate Meryl Streep, who's due for surgery. ...
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Overview

Carl Franklin directed this family drama adapted from the 1995 novel by former New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen about a young woman who goes back home to take care of her dying mother. In 1987-88, independent Ellen Gulden Renee Zellweger, a Harvard grad, is working on a New York Magazine investigative article when she hears from her father, George William Hurt, a literary critic and university professor. He tells Ellen she's needed at home to care for her mother, Kate Meryl Streep, who's due for surgery. Ellen needs to get away from the problems of her relationship with her boyfriend Jordan Nicky Katt, but she plans to continue work on the magazine article from home. In truth, Ellen is uncomfortable with her mother's various ladies club lunches, and holiday preparations, and she finds communication with her mother awkward. Once Ellen arrives back home, she's dismayed to find herself caught in the web of her mother's Middle America activities. Ellen's attitude changes when it becomes apparent this probably will be the final Thanksgiving and Christmas with all family members present. But tensions erupt as long-buried family secrets emerge. Locations in New Jersey were used to create the film's Eastern coastal college town. Shown at the 1998 Montreal Film Festival.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This painfully honest drama about marriage, false perceptions, and personal conflicts between parents and their children is also a courageous stretch for director Carl Franklin, whose previous two films, Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) and the independent yet critically acclaimed One False Move (1991), were primarily crime dramas. Meryl Streep is an absolute shining light as Kate Gulden, the nurturing homemaker living her life with strength and humor. Renee Zellweger is intelligently cast as her daughter Ellen, an ambitious literary type who is still very much daddy's little girl. Zellweger does justice to Ellen's profound character arc as she confronts her mother's terminal illness and the truth about her father, played by William Hurt. Hurt seamlessly portrays the complexities of his character, a self-absorbed literary snob, a philandering husband, yet a man who deeply loves his family. One True Thing touchingly explores love's ambivalence while it remains faithful to the theme of author Anna Quindlen's semi-autobiographical novel, "Love what you have instead of always yearning for what's missing."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/10/1999
  • UPC: 096898365932
  • Original Release: 1998
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Meryl Streep Kate Gulden
Renée Zellweger Ellen Gulden
William Hurt George Gulden
Tom Everett Scott Brian Gulden
Lauren Graham Jules
Nicky Katt Jordan Belzer
James Eckhouse District Attorney
Patrick Breen Mr. Tweedy
Gerritt Graham Oliver Most
Technical Credits
Carl Franklin Director
Jesse Beaton Producer
Allan Byer Sound/Sound Designer
Karen Croner Screenwriter
Cliff Eidelman Score Composer
Sam Hoffman Asst. Director
Carole Kravetz Editor
Leslie Morgan Executive Producer
Dale Pierce Nielsen Casting
Elaine O'Donnell Set Decoration/Design
Jono Oliver Asst. Director
Rick Pagano Casting
Paul Peters Production Designer
Leslie Pope Set Decoration/Design
Declan Quinn Cinematographer
Jefferson Sage Art Director
Harry Ufland Producer
William W. Wilson III Executive Producer
Donna Zakowska Costumes/Costume Designer
Anna Quindlen Source Author
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Sad sad movie.

    Didn't know there was a book. Meryl Streep was, wow, did a good job in this movie. And Renee Zellweger. This one of those movies that you probably saw a little bit but never the whole thing. Finally saw the whole thing and it is a sad sad movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Very touching and heartfelt

    I am a huge fan of Renée Zellweger and I am glad that I had the opportunity to see this film, not only for her sake, but for the other actors and actresses in this film. The way that Meryl Streep presented this woman was amazing. I felt the pain that she was going through with the cancer and drugs she had to take. The tension that William Hurt brings to the screen truly helped make the story. You wanted to hate him, but at the same time, you felt what he was dealing with. Renée's performance and the way that she utilized her voce and facial expressions crumbled you inside. The way that the actors interacted with each other makes this movie one of my favorites. It makes you cry, laugh and puts you in some other world for 2 hours. A truly spectacular film. You can't just watch it like some movies and forget about it. It sticks with you forever.

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